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Effective oral care begins early, even before your baby’s first tooth erupts. Caring for your baby’s gums is vital to her health. Cleaning your baby’s gums can prevent problems as her teeth emerge. A baby’s tooth buds start to form while mom is in her second trimester. When the roots form they force crown upward. Eventually the pressure breaks down the gum tissue, making it thinner and thinner until it breaks through and erupts.

The following can occur when your baby is teething:

Drooling—drooling may cause a rash around her mouth as saliva builds up.

Gum rubbing—to relieve the constant pressure, she may rub her gums to relieve the constant pressure.

Fever—Baby may run a mild temperature, less than 102 degrees.

Biting—to relieve pressure on the gums, baby may bite! It is not meant to hurt (even though it can).

Other signs baby may be experiencing teething pain include irritability, sucking, a decreased appetite, wakefulness, and rubbing her ear.

If your baby is teething, you can soothe her gums by rubbing lightly with a clean finger or cold spoon, and clean her gums by running a clean, damp washcloth lightly along the bottom and top of the gums. As her teeth push through the gums, keep them clean by gently brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and water several times a day.

Timeline for emerging teeth:

1–Baby’s teeth begin developing while still in the womb.
2–Baby teeth begin erupting from 3-12 months.
3–Teeth tend to come through in pairs, erupting on one side and then the corresponding other side.
4–By the age of three, baby will have 20 primary teeth (ten on top and ten on bottom).
5–By the time your child is six, he will begin losing primary teeth as the permanent teeth come in.
6–By the time your child is 12, all primary teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth.

Taking good care of teeth and gums begins early! Make sure your baby has their first dental visit by the time they reach one year, or six months after her first tooth emerges. If you have any questions, or to schedule an appointment, you can reach our dental team at 801.960.7913.